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Why The Cast Of Pet Sematary Looks So Familiar

It's been decades since the first movie adaptation of Stephen King's Pet Sematary taught audiences not to trust their cats, and America is well overdue for a refresher. Luckily for us, there's 1992's Pet Sematary Two, the sequel so bad that King had his name removed from the credits. And luckily for people who don't like bleeding from their eyes, there's the 2019 remake of the original.

Directed by relative newcomers Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer and written by The Prodigy's Jeff Buhler, Pet Sematary has received a load of positive reviews for its creepy atmosphere, commitment to the source material, and altogether ooky cast of characters. But who were the actors who decided that sometimes, not letting a franchise die is better? Let's take a look at the talent behind the film and why so many of them look familiar.

Jason Clarke/Louis Creed

Nobody wakes up as the protagonist of a Stephen King story having their best day ever, and Louis Creed from Pet Sematary is no exception. Skirting the basic survival rules of every horror movie ever, he picks up his family and moves to a quiet, nondescript town in the middle of nowhere, hoping for a new start. As tends to happen in these situations, it turns out that the charming little hamlet is hiding a grim secret, and Louis's life gets abruptly shot to hell.

Louis is portrayed in the movie by Jason Clarke, an Australian actor whose early work included playing Robber #1 in Wanted (not that one) and Young Cop #1 in Twilight (not that one.) Fans of the perfect marriage of Muppets and hard sci-fi might recognize him from a four-episode run on Farscape as Captain Jenek, but most viewers will know him from his two most prominent roles stateside: as Dan in 2012's adaptation of the hunt for Osama bin Laden, Zero Dark Thirty, or as one of about 70 actors to play John Connor across the Terminator franchise in Terminator: Genisys.

Amy Seimetz/Rachel Creed

Rachel Creed has got it all: a dutiful husband, two beautiful kids, and a spacious new house just a few minutes' walk from an abandoned Micmac burial ground that brings the dead back to life through the forgotten magic of the old world. Really, everything should be going spectacularly for her, but one of those things mentioned above (we won't tell you which one) tears her world apart. All right, we'll give you a hint: it's the cursed, forces-with-which-man-was-not-meant-to-meddle cemetery.

Amy Seimetz plays Rachel in the movie. She's maybe most easily recognized from her part in 2017's Alien: Covenant, where she played Maggie Faris, a pilot who, unfortunately, explodes pretty hard and, perhaps more unfortunately, is married to Danny McBride. She also had a three-episode stint on a little indie program called Stranger Things, which we understand can be viewed on the world wide web, playing Becky Ives, Eleven's biological aunt.

John Lithgow/Jud

There are pieces of dialogue that an actor might spend their entire career waiting for the chance to perform. The Saint Crispin's Day speech from Henry V comes to mind, as does the "Coffee Is For Closers" scene from Glengarry/Glen Ross. But towering above all of these is the single line "Sometimes, dead is better."

That sentence is spoken by Jud Crandall, the Creed family's new neighbor. He's a kind but flawed man, the sort who knows that the ancient Native burial ground is nothing to be toyed with, but who chooses to tell his buddy it'll bring his cat back to life anyway because it's hard to make friends as an adult. Originally played with "Pepperidge Farm remembers" gravitas by The Munsters' Fred Gwynne, his torch has been passed to another veteran of the "gosh aren't monsters hilarious" television genre, John Lithgow.

You like heartwarming stories about a family learning to love a sasquatch? Lithgow was the dad in Harry and the Hendersons. You like aliens struggling to fit in with human society? Lithgow's got you covered, with nearly 150 episodes of 3rd Rock from the Sun under his belt. And if you want to watch the story of a suburban dad trying to stay on top of his ideal nuclear family, maybe... maybe don't watch him on the fourth season of Dexter.

Jeté Laurence/Ellie Creed

It's sort of the unwritten rule of horror movies about families moving into a new house: sooner or later, the little girl is going to get pants-wettingly spooky. Pet Sematary twists the original story ever so slightly to meet this cultural demand, with Ellie standing in for her younger brother, Gage, as the child who's tragically and ever so slightly smashed to death by a speeding truck. Not to worry though, friends. She walks it off.

Ellie Creed is played by Jeté Laurence, the younger sister of Oona Laurence, who made a name for herself playing the lead character in Tim Minchin's Broadway adaptation of Matilda. Jeté has continued the family's thespian streak, playing television roles including a child version of Holly Taylor's Page on The Americans and a child version of Lizzie Brocheré's Tess on USA's Falling Water. She then moved on to more substantial TV parts, playing Pearl on Netflix's Friends From College, before making the switch to the big screen as Josephine Becker in 2017's The Snowman. Some of her most recent work includes playing Ellen on Amazon's show Sneaky Pete.

Hugo and Lucas Lavoie/Gage Creed

In the original story and movie, Gage, the youngest of the Creed family, has the distinctive honor of being hit by a truck and sending everyone's lives down an ever-spiraling vortex of loss, desperation, and insanity. He was played in the 1989 movie by Miko Hughes, of "he also played one of the kids in Kindergarten Cop" fame.

In the new iteration, Gage is the un-vehicular-manslaughtered of the two Creed siblings, leaving the messy work of being struck down in one's prime to his older sister, Ellie, the way any self respecting baby brother would. He spends most of the film as the classic "innocent kid in need of protection" trope necessary to any good piece of horror.

This time around, the part of Gage is actually being played by two actors, twin brothers Hugo and Lucas Lavoie. The Lavoie twins are fresh faces in Hollywood, and this movie marks the first professional credit for both of them.

Obssa Ahmed/Victor Pascow

If you never read the book or saw the original movie, you're probably not aware that Victor Pascow is the embodiment of squirm-inducing terror. In the first act of the story, Louis, working as a doctor at the University of Maine, has a particularly bad day when Victor, one of his students, is involved in a gruesome car accident. Victor doesn't make it, and, with a head full of truly haunting prosthetic makeup, starts showing up in Louis's dreams, giving ominous warnings and generally harshing his mellow.

Victor Pascow is played in the remake by Obssa Ahmed. Another new face on the silver screen, he's mostly done television work since premiering in Aisha Porter-Christie's short film Linger in 2015. He's had mostly small parts, playing a gang member in an episode of Shoot the Messenger and a graffiti artist on the Canadian sitcom Kim's Convenience. He also played Egan on two episodes of The Expanse, but Pet Sematary marks his highest-profile role to date — here's hoping casting directors get over their nightmares and cast him in some new projects soon.

Alyssa Brooke Levine/Zelda

Every great character has their past traumas, and Rachel Creed's is a doozy. Throughout the story, she is haunted by nightmares about her sister Zelda, who was stricken by severe spinal meningitis and died during their childhood when the girls' parents left Zelda in Rachel's care. Look, it's Stephen King. It's not supposed to make you feel good.

Fun fact for anyone out there that likes mansplaining production stories to people: in the 1989 movie, Zelda was played by actor Andrew Hubatsek. This time around, the part goes to 14-year-old Alyssa Brooke Levine. Her only other onscreen credit came when she was a baby, when she played Bebe Huguette on the French soap opera Un monde à part at just six months old. Aside from that, she's mostly known for commercial work, for which she's frequently teamed up with her twin sister Amber.